Anti-racists have warned of attempts by the far-right to use the Brexit crisis to spread hatred and violence.

As thousands descended on Whitehall to express their views on Brexit, a stage was set up in Whitehall by Tommy Robinson and UKIP, under the leadership of Gerrard Batten.

The counter-demonstration took place north of this stage on Whitehall, and was focused exclusively on opposing the racism and fascism at the heart of this new alliance. 

Counter-demonstrators included those supporting both leave and remain, representing groups from across society, and were clear that regardless of our views on Brexit, all those opposed to racism and fascism must unite against Tommy Robinson, UKIP and the growing far-right.

Speakers at the counter-demonstration included Toufik Kacimi, CEO of Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park, itself the site of a far-right terrorist attack in June 2017. Evidence presented in court at the trial of the perpetrator showed he had been viewing material produced by Tommy Robinson, his former partner stating he had become 'obsessed' with Robinson's anti-Muslim videos.

Other speakers included London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai, author Louise Raw, Virgil Bitu representing the Gyspy Council, and RMT Senior assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley, who said:, "Every time the far-right have come to power they have targeted minorities as well as the organised working class, the trade union movement.

"They have attacked us, banned us, imprisoned us and assassinated our leaders. That is why we are here today. To stand in solidarity with everybody who is an oppressed minority, and out of self-interest because working people can not let bastards like that pretend to represent us and come to power on our backs."

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We need to send a clear message- whether you voted leave or remain in the referendum, we must fight all attempts to blame migrants for our economic woes and start blaming the real culprits – the government and big business.

“People from other countries should be welcome here and we must be resolute in our determination to rid our country of racists and fascists forever.”

Weyman Bennett, co convenor Stand Up To Racism, said: "UKIP and Robinson are out to promote the politics of racism and divide and rule. Robinson is working hand in glove with UKIP’s leader Gerard Batten.

"Their protest was not a genuine demonstration about Brexit, it’s simply a platform to spread their extreme far right agenda.

"Robinson and UKIP are promoting a vile Islamophobic, racist agenda, along with their violent friends in the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA). They want to create a far right street movement and build support for UKIP off the backs of the Theresa May’s Brexit crisis. "